WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) today announced the honorees for the Phoenix Awards Dinner, the culminating event of the 45th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC). President of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, Rev. Dr. William Barber, II; Civil Rights attorney and activist, Fred Gray; civil rights pioneers, Juanita Abernathy and Amelia Boynton Robinson; and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated will be presented with the Phoenix Award at the black-tie dinner, 6 p.m., Sept. 19, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
“The honorees this year embody the spirit of sacrifice, service and leadership to our country and underserved communities,” says A. Shuanise Washington, president and chief executive officer of the CBCF. “Each has worked tirelessly to advance equal rights and protections for African Americans.”
Rev. Dr. William Barber, II will be honored with the CBC Chair’s Award. Barber was instrumental in the release of the Wilmington Ten and has been a mainstay in the national grassroots movement for educational, economic and equal justice for more than 19 years. Barber continues to lead the fight for voter rights in North Carolina and health care reform, labor and worker rights, protection of immigration rights, and reparation for women survivors of Eugenics.
Fred Gray will be honored with the ALC Co-Chair’s Award. Gray is best known as the first civil rights attorney for Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. During the civil rights movement, Gray’s litigation efforts led the way in tackling desegregation, integration, constitutional law, racial discrimination in voting, housing, education, jury service, farm subsidies, medicine and ethics, and the judicial system.
Civil rights activist Juanita Abernathy will receive the George Thomas “Mickey” Leland Award and fellow civil rights activist Dr. Amelia Boynton Robinson will receive the Harold Washington Award. Abernathy is the wife of Rev. Ralph Abernathy; she helped to organize and lead the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott in her home state of Alabama from 1955 to 1956. Abernathy continues to advance her husband’s legacy through lectures and service to civic and religious organizations.
Amelia Boynton Robinson is one of the organizers of the Bloody Sunday march to Montgomery, Alabama. The photo of her beaten unconscious at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge circulated around the world. In March, she commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Selma marches by walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge hand-in-hand with President Barack Obama.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated will receive the CBCF Chair’s Award for its diligence in cementing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy with a memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Alpha Phi Alpha, of which Dr. King was a member, is also being recognized for its national programs to mentor black children and mobilize minority voters.
Proceeds from the Phoenix Awards Dinner benefit the CBCF’s many programs and initiatives. To purchase tickets and register for the ALC, visit cbcfinc.org/alc.